Palmetto Politics

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In the dead-tree edition out tomorrow, Michael has a piece about Nikki Haley and the fusillade of attacks that helped propel her candidacy in South Carolina’s Republican gubernatorial primary. Yet for all the fireworks on the GOP side, the Democratic primary was the true shocker, as a question mark named Alvin Greene defeated a well-funded candidate without bothering to campaign. After ponying up about $10,000 to run, Greene essentially disappeared. He was a no-show to the party’s convention, erected no campaign signs, and opted against creating a candidate website. As Mother Jones reports, in the aftermath of his win Greene was essentially incoherent:

Greene insists that he paid the $10,400 filing fee and all other campaign expenses from his own personal funds. “It was 100 percent out of my pocket. I’m self-managed. It’s hard work, and just getting my message to supporters. I funded my campaign 100 percent out of my pocket and self-managed,” said Greene, who sounded anxious and unprepared to speak to the public. But despite his lack of election funds, Greene claims to have criss-crossed the state during his campaign—though he declined to specify any of the towns or places he visited or say how much money he spent while on the road.

“It wasn’t much, I mean, just, it was—it wasn’t much. Not much, I mean, it wasn’t much,” he said, when asked how much of his own money he spent in the primary. Greene frequently spoke in rapid-fire, fragmentary sentences, repeating certain phrases or interrupting himself multiple times during the same sentence while he searched for the right words. But he was emphatic about certain aspects of his candidacy, insisting that details about his campaign organization, for instance, weren’t relevant. “I’m not concentrating on how I was elected—it’s history. I’m the Democratic nominee—we need to get talking about America back to work, what’s going on, in America.”

Suffice it to say Dems weren’t too happy about their horse in the race–and that was before it emerged that Greene, who is unemployed and lives with his parents, is facing felony charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly sneaked into a University of South Carolina computer lab and showed a female student pornographic images. (If convicted, he faces five years in prison.)

This morning Rep. Jim Clyburn, the South Carolina Democrat, chalked up Greene’s win to suspicious “shenanigans,” openly wondering whether Greene was a Republican plant. Either way, his candidacy has made the Palmetto State’s Democratic party a laughingstock. So far Greene has rebuffed the party’s request that he drop out of the race, but no matter who he faces it’s unlikely incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint will have to break a sweat this fall.